Where do you buy your livestock?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by montanabound, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. montanabound

    montanabound Apphorses

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    Hello, I was wondering where everyone buys their feeder and/or breeding livestock (cattle, goats, chickens, pigs)? Do you only buy from auctions, or from locals?
    I am wondering because we are moving to northern MT next month and I want to get an idea of where we need to be looking for livestock. Getting animals that are clean of meds and such is a biggy, not so much all organic, just clean of a bunch of stuff that is not needed.
    Thanks so much for any info ya'll may have and have a great day!!!

    Loree in AZ (but not for long;O)
    http://photobucket.com/albums/f252/arizona77/
     
  2. nogreaterjoy8

    nogreaterjoy8 Well-Known Member

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    go local! Check the feed stores, spread the word what you are looking for and be patient. If you do end up at an auction remember that there is a reason why older animals are being sold (cull animals) and that the younger ones have been in crowded conditions for at least a while and who knows what they have had in the past............I would keep them quarantined for a month or so.
     

  3. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    you might want to look to neighbors first then anny assoaction of that type of animal should have some good breeders on it
     
  4. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    We have bought some cattle from private sellers found via newspaper and the internet. We also bought some via a normal livestock auction. After buying some at the auction, we traced the seller and bought some more from him directly as we liked the ones he had sold to us thru the auction.....

    If you buy from private sellers or thru an auction, you can most likely find out what vaccinations the animal has had, imo vaccinations are a good thing to protect your investment in these animals.

    If you are fearful of the steroid or antibiotic input into animals, just don't buy any from a feedlot operation, that is where you see most of the artificial inputs to try and boost weight gain and keep animals healthy in sometimes filthy conditions.

    I would suggest buying from a private party near where you are moving, that way you can have a contact person to ask the questions you wish regarding what vaccinations the animal has had, any prior health issues, etc.

    Not to mention that most folks might be hesitant to sell a really unhealthy animal to a neighbor without disclosing that fact, I know I wouldn't do that so as to avoid any later repercussions. At an auction, it is buyer beware, you had better know what you are looking at during your walkthru of the animals ( if you can even do that, some auctions you can't ) otherwise you are making a buy/no buy decision based on a distant viewing of an animal sometimes for no more than 15-20 seconds.
     
  5. Ken in Maine

    Ken in Maine Well-Known Member

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    I only buy from established reputable breeders. It really doesn't cost much more in the short run and in the long run we can be confident that our animals will represent the best of their breed.

    Never... never... never ( and did I say never) buy from livestock auctions or people going out of business UNLESS you have several years experience in the breed you're considering and willing to take the chance on bringing something very undesirable back to your farm!

    In livestock as well as anything else you get what you pay for!
     
  6. tenacres

    tenacres Well-Known Member

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    Cattle: Local farmers are best. That way you can see the rest of the herd. Also makes hauling easier. Some local farmers are even willing to deliver, if you ask.

    Pigs: Locally as well. Ask at your local feed store. That's what we did and they let me know who had hogs for sale.

    Chickens are available from feedstores beginning in the spring. Get them as chicks and raise them. That's the fun part! You can also order day old chicks from hatcheries such as Murray McMurray, Ideal, etc.
     
  7. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Find some locals to buy from is my advice. Ask around at the feed stores in your area. You never know for sure why an animal is going through the salebarn, so yes, you *can* end up with some good animals that way, but you can also bring home problems you don't want and may be living with for a LONG time! I never buy from salebarns. I have spent too much time building my herd to risk its health that way. I also like to buy from folks who don't medicate unneccessarily. Good luck with your move! :)
     
  8. montanabound

    montanabound Apphorses

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    Great advice ya'll gave, basically keep it local!!! That is what I was thinking but I wanted to get other oppinions on it. We got some chicks last year from a local lady and I think she was doing some weird experiments with chickens;O) Everyone who saw our chickens thought they looked funny (5 toed Silkies and Polish) One day the dog got tired of hearing our daughters scream from the attacking roos ( 2 roos and 1 hen) that she ate them, not our little hen, just the roos, of course being a Heeler, she would herd the roos away from the girls sometimes. I felt bad for the roos, but they were too small to eat and too mean to go anywhere else, so...

    Now does anyone know what breeds of livestock would be better for the colder states? (our horses should be glad to get to cooler country;)

    Thanks again for the advice and have a wonderful Spring!!!!
    Loree in AZ (but not for long;)
     
  9. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It depends on what "class" of livestock you are buying and where you are located. I lived in Montana and Wyoming for years and my family were ranchers.

    We (and most neighbors) bought our replacement bulls out of the auctions. They had regular sales where other ranchers sold "replacement cattle" ... the bulls had sometimes gone through weight/gain tests so you had that information (fast finishing/ early weight calves) also birth weight (low most desireable) compared to weaning weight (higher the better).

    Ranches would sell there for many reasons ... dry weather, hailed out the hay crop, lost a pasture lease ... and stock cows would often go through in small lots preg checked and so on.

    I was never involved with sheep so I don't know about those sales, though I suspect they would be similar. Same situation with pigs.

    Not many goats in that area, at least not in "commercial" numbers so you will probably have to buy them privately. Dairy cattle are much the same as well. I suspect that dairy cows or goats would be better bought privately if you're going to be buying in Montana anyway.

    One thing you will find in Montana is so often the distances from one ranch to another is so far that people simply expect to buy at auction sales. They can't afford to take the time to go to half a dozen ranches to look at livestock for sale and there aren't enough people that are close enough that ranchers can depend on private sales to sell their livestock. People in that area consider auctions a much more practical place to buy and sell livestock than people in areas with smaller farms, heavier population and shorter distances.
     
  10. montanabound

    montanabound Apphorses

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    Thank you SFM in KY, that really makes sense with buying at auction because of the distance. Great Falls is probably where we need to go for livestock. Thanks again!!
    Loree in AZ
     
  11. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    You will most likely have problems finding small lots of animals at auctions. If you only want 1 or 2 animals a year check with the local 4-H group. Usually about this time of year they are getting project animals and the club may sponser a sale for kids to get animals. You should be able to pick up the animals that the kids don't buy for a decient price and they should be high quality too.